Monday morning. We are about a day ahead but I woke knowing I will be missing Grandpa’s funeral today. Thank you all for your prayers and kind condolences.
We ate breakfast and I looked out the window and saw our neighbor bringing his horse in the gate. Jon had talked with him about sometime showing his horse in full Awi costume to our kids. In Awi culture, horses are dressed up beautifully for festivals, celebrations and funerals. Our family sees them the most when it’s a funeral day and men from all over the zone saddle up to show their respect to the deceased and they clip clop past our house. Zelelam had no idea that today is Grandpa’s funeral and that my girls call that set of Great-Grandparents, “Pony Grandpa and Pony Grandma”.
But there he rode, up to our front door.
In Awi culture, men ride the horses, they aren’t for children or women. In our years or living here, my girls have never been offered a chance to ride a horse.
This morning, it was offered, “Who wants to ride?”
And I was too in the moment to do anything but smile but as I type this out, it’s with tears streaming as I realize this was God’s provision for me this morning.
J got her turn.
Eliza rode too.
Tiger was so interested from afar, not so much in the riding experience.
Miss T is too little to be scared. Both babies are still in their pjs, ready to go down for early morning naps. They wake up before the sun.
We tried for both babies. Only a good idea in theory.
My cousin, Angie, wrote me an e-mail to share a few more memories of Grandpa. I loved them and here they are for memories’ sake and any cousins who may be reading along.
...I can easily picture his huge fingers tightening the latches on the pony cart or putting on a bridle and hear his 'click' as he talked to the horses
...remember playing mini-golf with him at the holidome, he was always ready for a game with a grandkid
...him singing 'It isn't any trouble just to S-m-i-l-e
...remember how they would give us quarters to play the arcade games at the hotel? We were talking about that recently and my mom laughed and said that that was a stretch for Grandpa because that was a frivolous way to spend money for him - anything for the grandkids (…or grandma! Ha, ha! She did have him wrapped around her finger.)
...Juicy-Juice from the can, Grandmas cookies those oatmealish ones, granny mix, sleepovers, the Farming Game (that the 'older' kids played), Judge, Charades on the trampoline, hickory nuts under that big tree by the swing, cracking nuts with Grandpa, sailing little boats in the air conditioning river
...his smile, so genuine
...his quiet tolerance and smirk over us loud, dramatic, giggly girls
...I could keep going, but something I can't put words to is the confident and sure, yet friendly and gentle man he was. So solid in his faith, so sure in his action
...never any excuse over the circumstances that life had brought him, always pressing forward. A quiet encourager. I held him in high esteem, even as a kid.
I am taking this unexpected 30 minutes of horse-filled goodies as God’s answer to prayer as I goodbye Grandpa from Awi land.